DOT Commissioner; FTA Region II Leader Headline Two-Day Public Transit Conference and Expo

"Partners in Progress" Theme Focuses Sessions and Workshops on Public-Private and B2B Collaboration

ALBANY, NY (09/11/2013)(readMedia)-- ALBANY, NY (September 11, 2013) - Leaders of the agencies and businesses that keep New York State's public transit systems moving are gathering this week in Saratoga Springs for the NY Public Transit Industry Partners in Progress Conference and Expo. Opening on Wednesday, September 11 at the City Center and running through Thursday, September 12, the program features nationally-ranked speakers, education sessions and the state's only transit industry tradeshow.

"Public transportation is critical to the continued economic growth of our state and the quality of life in our communities," said Carm Basile, president of the New York State Public Transit Association (NYPTA) and CEO of Capital District Transportation Authority. "Strategic collaborations between public agencies are resulting in innovative methods to provide vital transportation services in the most affordable ways across all parts of the state. The Partners in Progress Conference and Expo is a place for those important partnerships and ideas to germinate and grow."

Hosted by NYPTA in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration Region II, the conference features workshops consistent with the theme, led by professionals at the top of their fields. Sessions include "Board-CEO Partnerships in Leading Change" with author and change leader Doug Eadie of Doug Eadie & Company; "Transit Coordination and Partners and Breaking Down Barriers" with Kevin Anderson of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center; and "Certainty in Uncertain Times: Developing a Sound Contingency Plan for Your Transit Agency" with Mike Thomson of the Merlin Group, LLC.

Other education sessions are being led by key personnel from NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, NYS Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation, Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, Easter Seals Transportation Group, and the FTA Offices of Procurement and Capital Project Management. "The outstanding presenters we have from within our own industry speaks to the Partners in Progress theme," said Scott Sopczyk, transportation director for Greater Glens Falls Transit System and chair of NYPTA's Transit Training Committee and a member of the conference planning committee. "We all benefit when we can learn from each other and find ways to work cooperatively to benefit taxpayers and transit customers."

Other event highlights include an industry update from FTA Region II Leader Marilyn Shazor and American Public Transit Association Vice President-Government Affairs Rob Healy at Tuesday's opening session; a keynote address on Thursday from the Honorable Joan McDonald, the 11th Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation; and a gala luncheon celebrating NYPTA's 30th Anniversary on Tuesday. The celebration continues on Tuesday afternoon with "Dessert, Dialogue and Demos" at the Expo, featuring nearly 50 exhibits, bus displays and live product demonstrations.

During Tuesday's luncheon, NYPTA will also take time to recognize the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, remember colleagues lost and honor the bravery displayed that day by municipal and transportation workers in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. A Christian Brothers Academy Color Guard will assist with that recognition.

For more information about NYPTA and the conference, visit

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New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) is a not-for-profit association representing transit agencies across the state, as well as over 100 private sector manufactures, consultants and state government agencies. Members provide nearly all of the public transportation services in New York State and nearly 40% of the public transportation services in the nation, employing greater than 60,000 New Yorkers.